Review: The finest exports from Halle (Saale) return on their beloved Monaberry imprint with some more quality minimal tech-house goodness. Feliks Thielemann & Mathias Schwarz first made a splash around 10 years ago with their inventive takes on house and techno. This will be the pair's fourth album for the imprint and features a dozen or so tracks: the best of them being the collaborations - and there is some pretty interesting ones we must say. With Cologne duo Andhim they create some lovely ambient house/IDM during one of the album's 'interludes' not to mention the absolutely splendid one with German neo-classical hero Hauschka later on. The dubby warehouse techno slow bruner "V13A", the evocative dancefloor drama of "Gausa" goes for that Stil Vor Talent or Jonas Saalbach kind of feel. The tunnelling progressive house journey "Skorr" provides something different again and closes out this fine LP in style.
Review: Berlin native Oliver Koletzki has cited his hometown as a main point of reference and inspiration throughout his career. His last two albums are said to be 'wholehearted tributes' to the German capital and its importance in the current climate of electronic music. The label's aesthetic - right down to the cover art is testament to this - featuring photos of local landmarks and graffiti adorning his fair city. There are little to no corners in the city that haven't brought a spark of inspiration into the mix and the eighth instalment of the Schneeweiss (English translation 'white snow') compilation series, is said to be a tribute to the many aspects or 'particles' consolidated as a series of carefully curated tracks. There's so many highlights on here and we're only going to name a few, but they're not limited to: hometown hero and one time Terranova member Rampa's brooding dance floor drama on "Fluke", Frankey & Sandrino bridging the gap between tech-house and nu-disco ever so gracefully again on "Solaris", Cologne's finest Andhim lend their deft hand on a remix of Leipzig figurehead Matthias Tanzmann's "Coffee Clouds" and the man from Mannheim Ray Okpara who's still going: his track "Satin Curtain" getting a smooth remix by the legendary Kevin Yost.